When we hear the term ‘Small Batch whisky’, the most common association that comes to our minds is exclusivity, and that is not wrong at all. Small Batch whiskies are often the product of blending together the spirit from a relatively small number of barrels to achieve something that is extraordinary.
Just as home bars are extraordinary unto themselves, built over the years with generous amounts of time, money, resourcefulness and knowledge poured into it. Now there are home bars, and there are home bars. The latter belongs to the true whisky lover that knows what they’re doing. Ask any whisky lover you know and they will tell you, the pride that comes from owning a bottle of whisky that no one else has; it’s absolutely priceless.
From time to time, some widely respected and revered global whisky brands such as The Glenlivet, Aberlour and others have released small batch expressions. These whiskies often feature very high on the lists of whisky collectors, connoisseurs and other enthusiasts, commanding prime dollar.
Not only are small batch whisky releases guarantee the same trust and quality you have come to expect from your favourite brand, but with the freedom and opportunity for something different. Check out our list of highly recommended small batch whisky releases you should add to your home bar, and take your love for whisky to the next level.
A perpetual favourite in whisky tasting circles, this is a small batch single malt Scotch Whisky that commands the utmost respect and fascination. The Aberlour A’bunadh carries no-age-statement.
It is renowned for its soft, Sherry influenced goodness without compromising the slightest when it comes to the integrity of the Scotch. What makes the Aberlour A’bunadh Whisky even more unique is that it’s a cask-strength Scotch whisky, making it one of the most desired bottles of small batch single malt Scotch worldwide.
The name A’bunadh is derived from the Scottish Gaelic, meaning ‘The Origin’. Aberlour first released this delightful expression in 1997 to raving reviews. What looked like an annual small batch release had to conducted as many as twice or thrice a year thereafter as every whisky lover worth their salt pursued the chance to own a bottle of Aberlour A’bunadh.
While it may still be hard to get your hands on a bottle of A’bunadh, you might want to try your luck at Duty Free shops. Only 65 batches of the Aberlour A’bunadh have ever been released, making it an absolute treasure for your home bar.
The Glenlivet Master Distiller’s Reserve – Small Batch
The handiwork of Alan Winchester, the exemplary figure who has served as Master Distiller at The Glenlivet since 1979. Many of the iconic Speyside brand’s heavily rated and awarded single malts have been released under his guidance.
The Glenlivet Master Distiller’s Reserve Small Batch is another such stellar release created by Alan Winchester with some of The Glenlivet’s rare, aged whiskies. It carries no age statement and has only been made available in Travel Retail.
Triple-matured in a variety of hand-selected traditional, first-fill American and ex-Sherry casks that are increasingly rare to find. The result is an aromatic, balanced and flavourful single malt Scotch with a long, spicy finish.
Since The Glenlivet Master Distiller’s Reserve Small Batch is only available in Travel Retail, the intrigue surrounding this expression is maximum.
Teeling Small Batch Irish whiskey
Probably one of the newest whiskey distilleries all over the world to have gained such prominence so quickly. The Teeling Distillery was established in 2015 in Dublin, but the Teeling family are no newcomers to the world of whiskey. A large portion of aged whiskey was purchased by the Teeling family in 2011 from the Cooley Distillery, and the Teeling brand was re-launched in 2012.
The Teeling Small Batch is a non-chill-filtered bottling at 46% ABV, a combination of two very interesting attributes for an Irish whiskey. This particular expression is finished in ex-Rum barrels, with a slightly more generous malt content.
A recipient of multiple awards and medals at whiskey tasting competitions, the Teeling Small Batch is a truly phenomenal small batch Irish whiskey. Not to mention the beautiful black bottle makes for a great look on your home bar.
Amrut Greedy Angels
Amrut Distilleries gave India its first ever single malt whisky, and back in 2013, they also managed to release one of the very few small batch whisky expressions. The Amrut Greedy Angels release was a limited edition bottling that, at 8 years old, was claimed by Amrut Distilleries as ‘the oldest Indian whisky ever produced’.
This expression derives its name from a unique Indian phenomenon that takes place due to the country’s warmer, more humid climate. Angel’s Share is the name assigned to the part of the whisky that evaporates from the barrels during maturation. In India, spirit matures much sooner due to the climate, and the loss of spirit to Angel’s Share is significant.
The company claims to have lost nearly 12% of their spirit each year, for 8 years from the barrels used to mature Amrut Greedy Angels. Hence, the name and the quality of this limited edition small batch release. Just 144 bottles of Amrut Greedy Angels were released, and the bottles have become collector’s items.
Four Roses Small Batch
The Four Roses Small Batch is one of their special blends, and spirit from just four barrels is used to create this small batch release. It has been described as mellow, and a perfectly balanced Bourbon by the company.
Very well-known for its flavours and smoothness, the Small Batch release is slightly above the standard alcohol quantity at 45% ABV, yet can be enjoyed neat. It is unclear whether it was Master Distiller Ova Haney, or Jim Rutledge who created this expression.
Four Roses Small Batch is not an easily available product in Asia, and you may have trouble finding this beautiful bottle for your home bar. Although, if you do end up adding this to your prized collection, your bragging rights are about to skyrocket among your friends and family.
These are our top five highly recommended small batch releases that you need to add to your home bar.